How to Become a Naturopathic Doctor
In order to become a licensed naturopathic doctor, one must first graduate from a four-year, professional-level program at a federally accredited naturopathic medical school. Upon graduation, you must take and pass the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam (NPLEX). This exam covers basic sciences, diagnostic and therapeutic subjects and clinical sciences.
Becoming a licensed naturopathic doctor is the best investment you can make in your future, for the health of your patients, health of yourself and health of the planet.
Follow these easy steps to get you started:
- Check out what NDs do and how NDs think
- Learn what it takes to apply (academic prerequisites, personal plan, financial plan)
- Explore the accredited naturopathic medical schools
- Speak with an admissions counselor and get connected to the schools
Becoming a Foreign Trained Naturopathic Doctor in North America
Naturopathic medical education varies worldwide and may or may not qualify for advanced standing for North American educational standards. You are encouraged to provide your transcripts (with a WES or equivalent translation service) and apply for advanced standing. Courses will be evaluated by each individual school – as transfer credit is granted on a case-by-case basis.
Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor When Already a Licensed Health Provider
Naturopathic students cover the spectrum of experience prior to starting school. We value prospective students with prior health care experience. You are encouraged to speak with an enrollment counselor at the schools you are interested in and provide your transcripts to apply for advanced standing. Courses will be evaluated by each individual school – as transfer credit is granted on a case-by-case basis.
What is Naturopathic School?
Licensed naturopathic doctors attend a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and are educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD, but also study holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, naturopathic medical schools teach clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling. In order to become a naturopathic doctor, you must take professional board exams to be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician.
The Accredited Naturopathic Medical Programs
The AANMC offers six accredited naturopathic medical programs across seven campus locations in North America.
Those schools are:
- Bastyr University (Campuses in California and Washington)
- Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine – Vancouver Campus
- Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine – Toronto Campus
- National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM)
- National University of Health Sciences (NUHS)
- Sonoran University of Health Sciences (Sonoran University)
All AANMC member institutions have been accredited by regional accrediting agencies approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
In addition, all of the naturopathic medicinal programs have been accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), the recognized accreditor for naturopathic medical programs in North America. Graduation from one of the six accredited naturopathic medical schools or a naturopathic medical school that is a candidate for accreditation guarantees eligibility to sit for the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX), the passage of which is required to obtain licensure.
Application Procedures for the AANMC Member Schools
Standard application requirements may include an application, letters of recommendation, essay and/or prerequisite coursework. We encourage you to request information for complete information on application processes and deadlines.